Chelsea’s reserve team took part in a wild encounter this afternoon against a Gillingham team comprising fringe first-team players and reserves, and ended up on the right side of a nine-goal spectacular scoreline.
Early goals by Jacob Mellis and George Saville had the Blues comfortably ahead at the break, but Callum Davies replied for the visitors at the start of what was to prove an unbelieable second half.
Schoolboy substitute Reece Mitchell quickly restored the two goal advantage with a sublime lob after brilliant approach play by Under-15 forward Jeremie Boga. Coach Dermot Drummy was able to use some of the club’s very youngest talents in conjunction with the more senior reserves with the Under-18s involved in FA Youth Cup action tomorrow night.
New signing Patrick Bamford added a fourth with his first goal for the club but remarkably, Gillingham hit back to score three times in six minutes and draw level.
Chris Whelpdale reduced the deficit by one and then in the space of a minute Ollie Lee and Brad Dack put past James Russell to make it 4-4.
However, the lively Bamford went down the other end and won a penalty which he converted himself to score the game’s ninth and final goal and secure a 5-4 win.
The reserves have only had two competitive fixtures in 2012 to date, with a scheduled home date against Manchester United called off due to weather conditions last week meaning that the last time they took to the pitch for a league game was three full weeks ago.
Friendlies have been the order of the day in the meantime, with a goalless draw against Birmingham City and a 3-2 loss to Wycombe alongside today’s goalfest.
Midfielder Mellis has scored four times in five 2012 outings yet is surprisingly still not subject to a loan move and, perhaps more interestingly, has been overlooked for the final place amongst Andre Villas-Boas’ substitutes in recent weeks. That honour has gone to Lucas Piazon, who will line up for Adie Viveash’s youth team tomorrow night at Staines Town against West Ham United in the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup.
You can keep right up to date with the action throughout on Twitter by following @chelseayouth. The reserve team are due back in action next Monday as they welcome Fulham to Cobham for a 2pm kickoff.
Chelsea: Russell, Ashton, Ince, Hutchinson, Bangura, Clifford, Mellis, Saville, Clifford, Bamford, Traore
Subs: Dabo, Mitchell, Boga